THEY’RE OFF!!! (Mostly anyway)
The day didn’t start out great. We actually had a snow day, schools were cancelled and the roads were horrendous. I nearly couldn’t get in and nearly didn’t get them off. I was devastated. I was lucky and managed to get a taxi in and got them off. (I did then get stranded at my dentist as it then snowed so much that the taxis stopped running and so did buses- haha woops).
- The permanent retainers:
When I sat in the dentist chair I was really nervous but excited. He didn’t wait long, as soon as I was in the chair he was straight into checking my teeth were okay for the removal process. Happy with what he saw he started by polishing the back of my front teeth to prepare for the permanent retainer. He then spent a couple of minutes fitting this very small wire and bending it to the arch of my front 6 teeth. Then it was like when I first got my braces put in, he put the cement in, fit the wire, put more cement/glue on tip and polished to make sure there weren’t any large bumps. When he puts the cement on he leaves space to allow room for the gaps between your teeth so you can still floss and use interdental brushes. After doing my upper teeth he then did the exact same process for my lower front 6 teeth. It took about 20 minutes to do both sets due to all the setting and fitting time which began to hurt my jaw after a while but never too much. When they’re in you wash your mouth out to get rid of that weird glue taste and I’m not going to lie, at first it feels very weird and a bit like you’ve suddenly got braces on the inside of your teeth. After a while you start to forget they’re there, and they don’t affect your speech or eating.
- Removing the braces
Once my retainers were in place he started to remove my braces. It wasn’t painful, perhaps a little uncomfortable, I think the sound is the worst bit as it makes a crunching sound. All in all, to get both my upper and lower braces off, it maybe took 2 minutes. The only unique thing for myself is that they have had to leave on 4 brackets on my incisors so that I can still wear elastic bands to ensure my bite doesn’t move between now and getting my removable retainers. Once all my braces were off he then had to spend about 20 minutes polishing off the cement and I would say this is the worst bit. Not because it is painful, but the sound is horrendous. It reminded me of a drill, but again it wasn’t painful, just uncomfortable.
- Taking the moulds for my retainers
Now everything was removed and I was ready to see my smile but I still had to get my moulds done for my retainers. I had to have another mouth full of that gooey stuff which was no worse than the first time, aside from the fact that he seemed to make it his mission to put that plastic mould stuff all over my face and lips as well. He had to deliberately wipe some on the back of my teeth to ensure the mould took the shape of my permanent retainers and then hold it in place and because he had put some on his fingers to wipe on the back of my teeth, he then had it all over his hands which kept touching my face, spreading this green gunk everywhere. My first view of my smile was actually when he gave me the mirror so I could get rid of all the plastic mould from my face. I actually stopped wiping my face so I could see my smile and my first impression was, shock. I guess I couldn’t quite believe they were off. My second emotion was this is was weird. I guess you get used to your reflection with braces on, and I remembered what I looked like before braces but I had no idea what I’d look like once this journey was over. It wasn’t until I took a moment to look in the mirror and take it in was when I registered just how happy I was with it.
I’ve had compliments from my family, I’ve taken more comparison photos and it is unbelievable the difference between before and after, and I can barely notice the retainers. I do however notice the 4 brackets left in, I find that because they stick out I catch them on my lip whenever I eat which is a real pain, but it’s only two weeks that I have to deal with that. As for my teeth, some are a little sensitive to pressure after everything they’ve been put through but that is supposed to go down as the days pass, and they actually seem whiter than ever, bonus!
My Next Step – return to the dentist in 2 weeks to get my retainers and the final 4 brackets removed!